Why the 70th birthday; and why did they rig the student election?

Way back in 2012, Uthacleana asked:

What’s this “Turning 70” meme you’re promoting, Roger? Doesn’t anyone just turn 59 anymore?! ;-p

(I should note that he. and I, turned 59 that year.)
I started doing the 70th birthday thing because the Beatles (Ringo and John by then; Paul and George followed) were all turning the big seven-oh. Other folks I admired were heading towards a milestone. I noted at the time too that three score and ten was noted in the Bible as well (Psalm 90:10).

But it occurred to me only recently that it is also a way to keep track of what I’ve written. My buddy Greg complained when I noted Joe Cocker’s birthday, mostly because he doesn’t like Cocker’s voice. (BTW, that’s the beauty of a daily blog; if I write something not of interest today, maybe tomorrow will be more to your liking.)

Greg then suggested I should have noted Cher. But Cher only turned 68 in May. If I HAD written about Cher in 2014, what would I do for 2016? And would I have remembered that I had already done so? This way I have a couple more years to muse on what I’ll write about, since I DON’T have much of Cher’s music.

Now there are people who turned 70 before I started the blog – Sophia Loren, Smokey Robinson, for two – so I’ll peg 80, which is mentioned in the same Biblical verse. And there are people I just plan missed, so I might do a 75th natal day, from time to time.

The best answer to “Why 70?” is that it is an organizational tool. One gets a 70th birthday only once, so I’m likely not to repeat myself too much.
I wrote this post about The crooked student government elections at my undergraduate college, New Paltz in 1974. Dan Van Riper wrote:

Amazing that a college student election would be so blatantly corrupted with repeat voting. This is something you don’t see in real elections, as has become clear with all this rad-righty insistence with voting ID laws and limiting access to voting. So why were the… elections so corrupt, or maybe instead I should ask, why were your fellow students so irresponsible? Any ideas?

A few days later, when I had not replied, he e-mailed me:

Seriously, I want to know why the students at your college voted multiple times. What caused them to do that? You must have heard by now that voter fraud in the real world is virtually non-existent:

“There was not a single identified case of impersonation fraud at the polls – people showing up and pretending to be another voter – meaning that Schultz’s own investigation found no cases at all that would have been prevented with his proposed voter identification law.”

The idea that regular folks the voting process so much that they rarely try to cheat is somewhat counter-intuitive. We have been trained expect our fellow citizens to try and hurt each other selfishly at every opportunity, and here they are not doing so. I’m very interested in your opinion on the matter.

The answer, I’m afraid, is I don’t know, which is why I didn’t respond right away. I do have two competing theories, though:

1) The students really wanted all the parties and concerts that the winning coalition promised. This seems possible, but not likely.

2) The students did it because they could. Understand that there was considerable antipathy towards authority figures after the carnage of the Vietnam war, brought into our homes each night; the slow pace of racial justice, fractured by the deaths of Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and others only a few years back; and the government lawlessness that was Watergate, as the House of Representatives considered impeachment of President Nixon.

I think the voter fraud was a statement of nihilism. “THEY get away with all sorts of crap. Why shouldn’t we?” So they messed with The System because The System was corrupt, and because they could do it easily.

Oh, I suppose there was a third possibility:

3) They were from Chicago, where the motto was: “Vote early and vote often,” and they were taking the joke seriously.


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